Government Taking Firm Stance against Illegal Workers

(ZIZ News) – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris says that his government will clamp down on workers operating without work permits in St. Kitts and Nevis, stating that a number of recommendations are being considered for implementation.

“There is a recommendation that there be a penalty for late payments of work permit fees and this is already in place in Nevis; limiting the number of work permits for entities and of course we are prepared to revoke work permits that are not in compliance with the local laws,” the Prime Minister said.

Speaking at his first press conference earlier this week, Dr. Harris said the Ministry of Labour will be more vigilant in monitoring the work market such as the construction, and tourism and hospitality sectors to ensure full compliance with the laws.

“We accept we are short in certain skill sets and that several entities are global in nature with policies for cross training and attachment. We understand that and we understand what that means in terms of the composition of their staff to reflect that global reality. We are not insensitive to these realities and our labour policy accommodates these situations,” Prime Minister Harris said, while asking “employers in St Kitts and Nevis, not to be insensitive to government’s policies and, at all cost, to operate within the four corners of the law.”

Statistics from the Ministry of National Security indicated that 509 work permits were issued in 2015 and 773 were issued in 2014.

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